ENVIRONMENT | Staff Reporter, Japan

Mitsubishi halts construction of US wind turbine plant

Mitsubishi's major wind power project in the USA has hit the doldrums.

Sluggish demand has forced Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd to suspend construction of its wind turbine manufacturing plant at Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Mitsubishi Heavy expects to take a one-time extraordinary loss of US$241 million from its onshore wind- turbine business for the year ended March, the company said.

The price of wind turbines fell 4% in the second half of last year from the previous six months to US$1.2 million per megawatt, the lowest since at least 2008, according to Bloomberg

“We are putting the factory on hold for now,” he said. The company may resume construction once there are signs of a recovery in demand, said Hideo Ikuno, a spokesman for Mitsubishi.

The decision follows the approval by the board of directors of an inventory writedown and related measures regarding its onshore wind-turbine business.

The factory was due to originally start operations in the second half of 2011 with an initial capacity of 600 megawatts a year.

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